Dan Harden


    Getting "skunked" the first trip out of the season is bad.  Having 20-30 mph winds to blame lessens the sting.  I was set and determined not to let my next trip be the same.  So the next trip out I'm looking at 5 mph winds, with afternoon showers.  April showers may bring May flowers but they aren't a good thing April bass anglers.
    Thankfully I got on Upper Westbay Pond with plenty of time before the rain was forecasted to start.  Knowing the water would be cold and off colored, I needed a slow presentationn and a bait that could cover any water I would encounter.  Time for a single blade spinnerbait and a "Slow Rollin' " retrieve.
    "Slow Rollin' " is basically a slow, steady retrieve were you are following structure contors and focusing on the baits blades as your speedomiter.  You want to dial in the speed so that you can feel the blades vibrations the whole retrieve.  Any break in the vibration patern can signal a bite.
    The bait I choose was a 3/8 oz. Dr. Bass "Viper" single spin.  Since I build these baits myself I know just what I can expect from the bait.  The "Viper" comes with what is called a dakota blade.  It has a unique V shape to the blade and is most common on walleye spinner rigs, a vibration bass aren't used to.  The weight of the head is also molded mostly behind the skirt.  This gives a 3/8 oz bait the appearence of a 1/4/ oz bait, and makes it cast like a rocket in the wind.  This was very important on this spring day.  Long casts coupled with a slow retrieve gives your bait more time in the strike zone of the fish.  
    I tied the bait on with 30 lb test braided line.  I like braid for this pattern over mono for its strength and low stretch.  You need the strength for grinding bottom and running into last years pad stems, or in my case a pile of sticks that was a beaver's breakfast.  Also setting hooks at the end of a long cast demand the low stretch of braid.  I did have a jig for back up with the spinnerbait.  If I missed a hook up on the spinnerbait I would drag along jig to try to tempt the bass.  It scored two more bass landed for me.
    When all the puzzle pieces come together things can be awesome on the water.  As kayak anglers we need baits and presentations that are versatile.  We have limited space onboard for gear and alot of us are "week end warriors" with limited time on the water.  So if you want to try a new technique give "Slow Rollin' " whirl.  Hopefully you can drag up some nice prespawn bass like I did.  Landing 20 bass after getting "skunked" the trip before, sweet redemption.               Good luck and see you on the water.

Kayaks Used